The game had been over for an hour and 17 minutes. St. John’s had beaten DeMatha in 1991 to win the Metro Conference Championship in football for the first time in over a decade.
All the fans had gone home. The tailgates had been folded up. The concessions people had cleaned up the hot dog wrappers.
One hundred and twenty yards away, the St. John’s team school bus swayed to and fro with players celebrating the monumental victory with one exception. In his bus seat, running back Kevin Plank, who rushed for a touchdown was writing his business plan for Under Armour which would make him 979 billion dollars one day.
Back on the 21-yard line of University of Maryland’s Shipley Field, John Ricca (aka “JRicc”) was being pummeled with question after question from Sammy Sportface, a St. John’s graduate who was covering the game and would be writing a story about the game for the next week’s newspaper.
Sportface: “So, JRicc, how would you put in context the meaning of this victory in the overall context of the Christian Brothers?
Sportface: Do you think anyone on this team was a better athlete at St. John’s than Charlie Hartley?
JRicc: Yes, about 25 guys.
Sportface: How do you think Jim Fegan feels about one of his Georgetown Prep football starts defecting to coach a cross-town rival team, St. John’s, to a championship?
JRicc: I didn’t defect to St. John’s.
Sportface: Why did you go to Prep? Charlie Leasure went there. Do you want to be associated with a Snake-like Leasure?
JRicc: I don’t know Leasure. But I bet he dated more Vizzy girls than you did in high school. Vizzy girls love Prep guys.
Sportface: How come you felt the need to call several trick plays in this title game in order to win? Didn’t you think your team could beat DeMatha by playing straight-up football without having to resort to witchcraft?
JRicc: We had no chance of beating them twice without throwing some fumblerooski-type stuff at them. Hey Sportface, how many more questions do you have? I would like to celebrate with my team. This is a special moment and I would like to be with them. Don’t you have enough to write your stupid story?
Sportface: Just a few more, JRicc. How come when your team played McNamara this season, you yelled “Busky” the entire game more than a thousand times?
JRicc: Because McNamara had a tight end name Busky who was a high-school All-American headed to play for the Crimson Tide. I was not gonna let Busky beat us. I felt if I kept screaming his name my players would get so freaked out they would be terrified and make sure to cover him. But why are you asking me about the McNamara game? That was two months ago? Can’t you stay on point, Sportface?
Sportface: This story needs context. And readers need to understand the mindset of the coach who masterminded this championship run. Which begs another question: You went to Duke. But you still hate Christian Laettner, right?
JRicc: Hey Sportface, stop asking me irrelevant questions. You’re ruining my moment with my players. They’re over there raising hell on the school bus and I’m standing here one hour and seventeen minutes later answering your stupid questions. I’d like to go join my team. When they tip over the bus, I want to be on it to enjoy the thrill.
Sportface: Ok but just one more. If you had to do this whole season over again, would you scream Busky’s name more than a thousand times or less in the McNamara game?
JRicc: I’m outta here, Sportface.
The six-foot eight-inch coach blew off the reporter and started jogging towards the school bus. The players could be seen hanging their heads out the windows singing the school fight song.
“Come whatever kind of weather
When the old gang gets together
Chase your cares and blue away
Let’s be happy for today
In our hearts, this song will never die.
Oh, St. John’s, we’re rooting for you.
Oh, St. John’s, why can’t you see.
Everyone is rooting for you.
To cheer you on to VIC-TO-RY, RAH RAH.
To the gray and to the scarlet
We will pledge our loyalty
And as the years add more fame
To that grand old name
Oh, St. John’s, dear St. Johns, RAH, RAH.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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